A helpful hand, informative mouth and friendly smile is something easily found in an auto mechanic. However, just like the rest of us, there are some times that you will catch them a bit more eager to offer better service than others. When drivers receive better service, they walk away happier and often with a more in-depth understanding of their vehicle via what the mechanic has to say as they have more time to make sure you're up to speed with the happenings in your speed machine.
Nobody wants to stand around with not much to do all day, mechanics included. Which is why your car will be a relief to any technician dying for something to do on a slow day.
Here are some of the best times to pop into the shop for a simple service with great customer service:
During inclement weather
You're not the only one who hates driving in thunderstorms, snow and anything in-between. However, if you are brave enough to tough out the elements you may wind up being the only car at the shop since nobody else wants to come out. Bad weather keeps drivers away, but this means that auto techs and mechanics have less to do and can spend more time on you and your car.
However, keep in mind that driving out in a full-out blizzard may not be a good idea. This is for your own safety's sake, as well as the fact that if you're finding it nearly impossible to get to the shop, most auto techs may be too and the garage may be short-handed. Rainstorms, downpours and lighter snow are perfect times to stop in for a tire rotation or oil change and auto techs will probably have more time to check tire pressure and perform added checks.
The day after a holiday
Make sure to check that a garage is actually open, but most shops will be much less busy the day after a major holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Most of their ongoing projects have been completed as people needed their vehicles to travel to family and many others who need service won't cut their vacations short to give their car some love. The period between Christmas and New Year's is ideal since most are on vacation. Auto mechanics might not have these extended holidays off and have to return to work the very next day, making it a consumer's opportunity to show up to an empty shop and get the red carpet treatment.
Some of the worst times to get a simple service are
Fridays are make it or break it time for a lot of garages as they try to finish up a week's worth of projects for car-owners coming to get their car that day. Bringing your car in for a simple service on a Friday means that technicians may have to stay after-hours to finish bigger projects or your transmission flush could get pushed to the end of the line, translating to hours in the waiting room. Bring your car in during the early part of the week before work piles up.
The end of the day
Staying on the same train of thought, the end of the day is an equally terrible time to get a simple service. As technicians are keen to get home, just like everyone else, you won't receive great service, drawn-out explanations and your technician may accidentally skip a step in their rush to get home. This is more likely to happen at less reputable repair shops, but people are people and sometimes aren't as thorough as they should be.
Right before break time
Don't make someone push their meal time back an hour for a simple service. Instead of bringing your car in for a service during your lunch break and potentially soiling your tech's break, try bringing it in before work, taking a half day for errands and put your service on the front of your list, or take your car in during a weekday off.
By using these do's and dont's of when to get your service, you can make sure to get individualized attention and the shortest wait possible.
Robert Mathius is a Chicago suburb native who currently lives in Tinley Park. He has a passion for the automotive industry in addition to journalism and works to blend his two passions in his writing. Additional automotive reporting by Robert can be found on Examiner.com.
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